While researching on Casetext, you’ve probably come across a bar on the left side of many cases. It looks something like this:
What you may not have realized about this bar is that it may be one of the most useful and unique tools Casetext Pro gives you to help with your research. We call this bar the Heatmap.
How can it help my research?
The Heatmap makes legal research way easier and way less time-consuming. By using the Heatmap, you can jump to the most important part first, which gives you context about what propositions the case stands for and what the case is most known for. You can then read the rest of the case with a better understanding of what it stands for and which are its key parts. Moreover, when reading a case, the Heatmap lets you see as you scroll that you’re about to hit a really important moment - a subtle reminder to read really closely for the next page. The Heatmap not only saves you time - it saves you from the tedious practice of reading through pages and pages of irrelevant information before you find the one or two sentences that are really important to your research.
So, how does it work?
The Heatmap gives you a shortcut for understanding a case by pointing to the sections of the decision that have been referenced the most by subsequent case law. Depending on how often a page has been cited and discussed, its color changes in the Heatmap. If a section has been discussed a lot, it’ll be in dark blue; if it’s never been discussed, it’ll be in white; and if it’s been discussed some, it’ll be some shade of blue in the middle.
When you mouse over a section on the Heatmap, it’ll show you how often that section has been cited.
And the best part? Just click on a section of the Heatmap, and you’ll be taken to that section of the case!
How does it know which sections to point out?
The Heatmap taps the documents in the Casetext database, which include millions of cases. Using that information, it checks how often a section of a case has been quoted or cited, and compares that section to all the other sections of the case in order to rank them.
Want access to the full Heatmap? Sign up for Casetext Pro here!